Weeks into lockdowns that seem like lifetimes, the question is everywhere: How much longer can we wait? American states are reopening even as diagnosed cases of the coronavirus continue to grow nationwide. Both the president and the governor of Texas have argued, in different ways, that the economy needs to get moving again – even if that comes at a human cost.
Basically, the economy is seen as being in conflict with dramatically cutting cases. But as the world’s experience with the pandemic grows, it’s becoming clearer that, in the best cases, one supports the other. South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Greece, South Africa, and Vietnam have all severely curtailed or virtually eradicated the disease. That’s a broad list – some isolated, some near hot spots. Some run by conservatives, some by liberals. Some rich, some struggling.
But all share a common denominator: quick, decisive, coordinated action based on the best science. In South Korea, that wisdom came from bouts with SARS and MERS. But “they learned from it,” notes an Atlantic report.
This week, South Korea’s success had a conspicuous result: opening day for its baseball league. ESPN is even broadcasting games in the United States. Beyond balls and strikes, the games offer a glimpse at something more: hard-won lessons and the hope they bring.
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